With the 2020 Election in November a full nine months away, Democratic campaigns are already preparing for President Donald Trump to make any transition of power a hostile one if he loses.
The transition of power from one administration to another goes back to the very foundation of our country when first President George Washington stepped aside after two terms in office and peacefully handed power to incoming President John Adams. Ever since then, presidents have peacefully handed power to their successor regardless of party. Democrats have handed over power to Republicans and Republicans have handed over power to Democrats.
But Trump is far more corrupt and power-hungry than any president we’ve ever had and it is feared that he won’t make the transition easy, assuming he doesn’t try to stay in power by crying election fraud.
According to Politico:
Several Democrats attached to different 2020 campaigns mentioned very specific concerns about what a Trump departure could mean. All spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, and because no campaign wants to be seen as assuming that Trump will lose.
The Democrats said they worry that Trump’s political appointees won’t meet with the incoming team, that there will be little, if any, paperwork left behind to guide them, and that what documents are shared will not be trustworthy.
Some fear that Trump aides will destroy paper trails related to controversial issues, not to mention quietly push through last-minute initiatives that could constrict the next administration’s ability to tackle hot button issues such as immigration or relations with Iran.
The White House insists that “the Trump administration will meet all requirements under the law as it relates to any needed transition between administrations,” but we all know Trump thinks he’s above the law and he has frequently ignored it to do what he wants. That’s why he’s being impeached for abusing his power and obstructing Congress right now.
And we also know how petty Trump is, so he likely won’t take losing well at all.
“This could be the most hostile, least professional transition in American history,” a former senior Obama official told Politico. “And the new administration will have to spend the early period – when it should be hitting the ground running – unearthing buried bodies.”
It turns out that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has already put together a detailed transition plan to prepare for such a scenario.
“Donald Trump will leave behind a government that has been infected by corruption and incompetence, and his vindictive actions as president suggest that he is likely to do everything he can to undermine the next president,” Warren wrote. “We cannot assume that everything will be fine once Donald Trump leaves office. The next president will need to have the energy, expertise, and vision to safeguard our country, rebuild the government swiftly, and make fundamental changes so that it works for the American people.”
“Rebuilding our government to work for the people won’t just happen,” she warned. “It’s going to require painstaking work, extraordinary drive and urgency, and a serious plan to root out the corruption and incompetence that Trump will leave behind. That means cleaning out the corruption that has infected the government, and it means moving immediately to fill key jobs and set up agencies with capable officials committed to putting the public interest first.”
To that effort, Warren plans to have all of her Cabinet nominations announced before next January and will immediately send the nominations to the Senate for confirmation on day one. She also intends to hire or nominate as many key personnel as quickly as possible so her administration can hit the ground running, with the aim of rolling back Trump’s destructive policies and establishing a Justice Department Taskforce to hold Trump and his officials accountable for their corruption.
Voters can hasten this process by flipping the Senate to Democrats, but the road to fixing the damage Trump has caused will still be a long one.
“This will be no ordinary transition between administrations,” Warren warned. “One year from now, the next president will take charge in the middle of multiple crises – from the border, to our foreign policy, to the undermining of health, safety, and environmental rules, to the hollowing out and corruption of our public institutions…Unlike previous transitions, we will not be able to assume good faith cooperation on the part of the outgoing administration, and we do not have an outgoing administration that shares even the most basic values. There will be no time to lose in putting teams in place to address the crises this administration has brought on our country – and to take action on the extraordinary challenges that the American people face.”
Make no mistake, Trump is dangerous. He’s a threat to our democracy and values our country has held most dear for centuries. He has already attacked several of those values such as the rule of law and checks and balances. Assuming that he would not also seek to sabotage the transition of power or try to thwart it entirely to become a dictator would be a grave mistake.
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